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Most of you know that I serve Converseon as Chief Strategist, and I’ve watched Converseon’s great research team pull insights from social media conversation that have astounded me. But some people still don’t believe that social media  can deliver real market research value. If you believe that social media just can’t answer your market research questions, I won’t try to convince you otherwise. Instead, let me explain to you how to use social media to drive your traditional market research projects.

Traditional market research works. Whether it is a focus group or a survey, market research gets answers to your questions. But, in a sense, that’s the problem. Traditional market research gets answers only when you know which questions to ask. If you ask the wrong questions, you don’t get all the answers. Maybe you’ll fail to ask the most important question of them all.

That’s where social media listening can come in.

It’s unprompted. No one asks a question. You just eavesdrop on your customers and they tell you what is on their mind. If you do enough listening, you’ll undoubtedly uncover all the issues out there. You don’t need to worry about whether you’ve asked all the right questions.

But that is not to say that traditional market research isn’t important. Many smart companies use social media listening to prime their traditional marketing pump. Once social media tells them what the right issues are, they formulate the right questions for focus groups and surveys.

Why use traditional market research at all if you use social? Well, social media can cover the issues and tell you what people think, but usually it doesn’t tell you why. Once you know what people think, surveys and focus groups can uncover the causes of those opinions. When you combine social listening with traditional market research, you create an unbeatable combination for customer intelligence.

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research.

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